Sunday, 9 September 2018

Tough Mudder 75 - Back to North West

5 years, 9 months and 27 days ago, on a cold and overcast Saturday, I was walking across the grounds of Cholmondley castle and gardens, to pick up my bib and get ready for my first Tough Mudder event, little did I anticipate that this would be a new chapter in my life, that would have me running around fields in Scotland, Wales, Ireland, Germany and the United States. That I would be the 1470th person to have signed up to an event in November that would see me dropping into ice baths, voluntarily and crossing parts of a lake that was reported as being 1°, then ducking under 3 tubes that were floating on the lake and running but mostly walking through a lot of mud.

I re-read what I had written about the experience of the unpleasant tent leaking incident and my thoughts on the day in question, along with watching the video I'd made during the event that included my thoughts after completing the event and find it strange that over the last few years would have gone from knowing nothing about Obstacle Course Running to have completed 72 full Tough Mudder events, 2 regional Toughest events and 1 World's Toughest Event.

I had planned to make North West my 50th anniversary event previous year but that ended up with me going to Ireland to take part.  I woke on the Sunday morning with a feeling of trepidation, that I wasn't up for taking part and I've no idea why. I went across to the warm up area and sat waiting for the wave to open. The rest of the team arrived for Sunday funday which though a slow one for them is out of my league running wise. Alun noticed I looked out of sorts and gave me a shoulder to lean on, which helped.

Gil did his warm up and called me to the front, to talk about first meeting me, the confused Geordie from Sunderland, which made me laugh. I got to hold the pledge and give out high fives then I set off, Alun kept me company for a while but I was holding him back so he headed off and I plodded on, walking and taking my time waiting for John, Gaz, Lottie, Evie, Carly and Jenifer to catch up, as they were taking part in the Granny run. I took my time and got myself over obstacles but needed quite a bit of help. I even helped someone who wasn't up to getting over hero walls but I guided them and they completed them, which was good to see. The others caught up at a new obstacle, a twist on Electric Eel from back in the day, it was crawling which is hard enough to start with, nevermind the electric shocks.

We all headed to the finish together and after helping a few up Pyramid Scheme and Everest headed across the finish to be crowned by Lottie, with Alun having waited for me to finish which I was glad of and Lucy and Jay who I was pleased to see volunteering so I got to see them before heading off.

I great end to a season that had been great to take part in but with my level of fitness getting ever worse as the year went on.